About five months ago, after listening to endless tag advocacy from various smart people, I started a little experiment on my blog. I installed the WordPress extension Ultimate Tag Warrior, and started tagging my blog posts. You can see the tags in the footer of each post, after “Tag Testing Project”.
I tagged my posts impulsively, without much regard for selecting the best possible terms for search engine optimization. It’s been all folksonomy, all the time. For example, this post about the cat catching a big bug got tagged “cat, insect, locust, prey”. This post about a Dolph Lundgren masterpiece got tagged “bad movie, dolph lundgren, gnomedex, killer cds”.
Tags are supposed to provide SEO benefits. Have they? Let’s compare two ‘normal’ (meaning no traffic spikes) months with similar traffic numbers, one from before I started tagging and one after:
56.07% of traffic comes from search engines
137 referrals from Technorati
50.73% of traffic comes from search engines
82 referrals from Technorati
Huh, those seem to be going in the wrong direction. Thus far, tags seem to be having a negligible impact on my traffic levels. Maybe I’m implementing them wrong?
In any case, after the jump there’s a tag cloud of my 200 most commonly-used tags. It please me that ‘pants’ made the list.